Written by Duana

I thought that it would be important, when I was writing a review of Glee, to make it somehow different from the ones I write about Mad Men or Gossip Girl. Maybe some cute references to song lyrics, something.

But I don’t want to.

After a brief absence from Glee (i.e., I missed the premiere) I was thoroughly looking forward to this episode and I…don’t know why. So instead of constructing a story whereby they need to do Britney songs, the show just lets them…fantasize them? And they recreate them more or less shot for shot with no irony? Why? Why bring in Big B herself only to have her be essentially an accessory? For kids who were obsessed with Britney, why why why were there none of her greatest ‘I’m on top’ hits? “Lucky”? “Oops, I did it again”? Instead, misogyny! Hysteria over sexualisation blamed on music, instead of a lack of sex education.

I spend a lot of time defending this show. Not just because I was a desperately addicted vocal jazz geek in high school but because I feel like it’s a subsection that deserves some exploration. High school geeks in the media are sometimes portrayed as goody-goody in the extreme, and I love that the geeks on this show are still as obsessed with sex and rebellion and separating themselves from their parents. But this – this was not that.

So, in an effort to avoid bombs being dropped on my home from Gleeks, let me outline the things I liked.

  • John Stamos is as charming now as he’s ever been. This is most notable because he doesn’t seem to be desperately trading on charm as the only thing he’s got. Some of these kids should take note.
  • One or two of Brittany’s lines sounded like an actual person would say them. Maybe just one, actually.
  • Cheerleading uniform aside, Britney Spears herself mostly dressed her age and didn’t try to wedge back into her ‘Slave 4 U’ outfit.
  • The shoes Lea Michele wears in the ‘Baby One More Time’ video are more accurate for what would be allowed in a private school setting. Authenticity!
  • A football player in a wheelchair is a relatively original interpretation of the song “Stronger”.
  • The colour of the car Will wants to buy is bright and sunny.
  • The girl who yells at Mr. Schue “Let me be your Britney” is someone I enjoyed on Huge. (Watch it, it’s good).
  • Emma Pillsbury continues to wear the sh-t out of the J Crew catalogue.

Unfortunately…that’s all I have. I really, really want to be able to love this show. But since there was no real plot or character to hold onto, I don’t know why I’m supposed to pledge allegiance to a bunch of reconstituted music videos.

And I’m all for subverting expectations, but 1) Amber didn’t get a single LINE and 2) Really? They didn’t use “Not a girl, not yet a woman?”

(Lainey: oh there’s more. Glee sucked so hard last night we’re double-fisting our hate. Stand by.)